Medical content writer - Medical student
11 September. 2022
5/5 - (1 vote)

Lumpectomy is a type of breast surgery which is utilized as a cancer treatment. First of all you should know that lumpectomy is completely different with mastectomy. In mastectomy procedure, surgeon removes the entire breast but during the lumpectomy the cancerous cells are removed. During lumpectomy, some of the healthy cells are removed in order to be sure that no cancerous cell is left. In lower stages of breast cancer, lumpectomy is preferred because patients can have rest of their breasts and that looks more natural. The lumpectomy is not the only treatment for breast cancer and even in some cases additional treatment like radiation or chemotherapy is suggested. After reading this article you will know more about this procedure and its aspects. You can even read more about other breast’s surgeries on Mediranco’s website.

Here You may read about:

  • What is a lumpectomy?
  • Which patients are suitable for having lumpectomy?
  • When is lumpectomy not an treatment option?
  • Can a lumpectomy be done with local anesthesia?
  • What should a patient expect before a lumpectomy?
  • How is a lumpectomy performed?
  • Does a lumpectomy tell the surgeon if cancer has spread?
  • What are the possible risks or complications of lumpectomy?
  • When should a patient call the surgeon?
  • What should you ask for experiencing better recovery period?
  • Where is the right destination for lumpectomy?

What is a lumpectomy?

Lumpectomy which is known as a partial mastectomy in medical terminology is a type of surgical process used to omit the cancerous cells from breasts. Sometimes your surgeon suggests you to have radiation following the operation. This makes you sure that all tumor cells are dead or removed. If lumpectomy would be possible, it is preferred to total mastectomy. After that other surgeries like breast augmentation with implants are not necessary.

Which patients are suitable for having lumpectomy?

Patients who have each of these conditions can have lumpectomy:

  1. the time that cancerous cells are located in special area of the breasts
  2. Tumor's margins are completely clear and the size is small in comparison with breast’s size
  3. your doctor prefers to keep some tissue for reshaping the breast
  4. your health care provider is sure that all tumor cells can be completely destroyed by lumpectomy and radiation

When is lumpectomy not an treatment option?

Although lumpectomy has a lot of advantages, it is not suitable for all patients who suffer from breast Cancer. Specially in patients with multiple tumors in different places of the breast, or patients with large tumors lumpectomy is not an option. Even in patients who are candidated for lumpectomy, radiation therapy is required after the operation. So if you don’t want to have radiation therapy, lumpectomy is not suggested. Your physician may ask you to avoid lumpectomy and radiation therapy in cases like :

  1. the history of genetic mutation
  2. breast cancer caused by inflammation
  3. some diseases that can cause serious side effects following radiation like lupus

Can a lumpectomy be done with local anesthesia?

Most surgeons prefer general anesthesia for patients who need lumpectomy. Although most cases are done with general anesthesia, utilizing sedation and local anesthesia can be requested for some of patients. It depends on various factors like the number of tumors, patient’s health situation and ...


What should a patient expect before a lumpectomy?

Each patient should be aware of the details like tumor’s size and its location. Before the operation, subtle imaging will be done and the exact locations will be marked for removing. In patients who suffer large tumors, a combination surgery may be needed which is called oncoplastic lumpectomy. This surgery is performed if the removal of breast is more than twenty percent of breast’s size. Before having the procedure, talk with your surgeon about all aspects of the operation and available options. It’s important to know how the breasts may be changed. Knowing the details and creating realistic expectations may decrease your stress. Try to follow all of the instructions in order to have safe operation and recovery.

How is a lumpectomy performed?

it is not a major surgery and mostly is done outpatient and it doesn’t need hospitalization. The duration of the surgery is about one hour. The tumor cells have exactly the same colour and shape of the normal cells of the breasts so the tumor location should be marked before the surgery.  The localisation of the tumor is often done by a radiologist. Surgeon may remove a margin of normal tissue in order to decrease the chance of tumor spreading. The only problem is that pathology evaluation can not be done at the procedure’s time, so the pathology results of the operation about final size of the cancer and whether or not there are clear margins) do take approximately seven to 10 days to determine. The health care provider may then inject medication like painkillers into the surgical area in order to help decrease the amount of pain patient may feel following the procedure. At the end of the operation, surgeon puts small marking clips into the lumpectomy location, to help aid the radiation oncologist know where to focus the radiation. The rest of tissofs is then placed back with dissolvable, internal stitches.

Does a lumpectomy tell the surgeon if cancer has spread?

Although without pathology evaluation, surgeon can not understand the spreading of the tumor cells, lymph nodes are checked to ensure that cancer has not spread to other sites. Injection of small amounts of radioactive material can also help surgeon to check the spreading. More than these, biopsy is sent for pathology evaluation. The biopsy then is sent to a laboratory. Specialized evaluations are performed to find out whether or not cancer has spread into the lymph nodes. These details help surgeon to know which treatments are most likely to be effective for patient. Each patient can have test results several days following the procedure.

What are the possible risks or complications of lumpectomy?

Like all kinds of Surgeries, it can cause some risks. Although it has some risks, the advantages make it a very common and useful operation. Lumpectomy is not as invasive as mastectomy and mostly doesn’t need following plastic surgeries. Some of lumpectomy’s possible complications are infection, bruising and swelling that is known as lymphedema in your arm or hand closest to the affected breast.

When should a patient call the surgeon?

Infections are very serious and in this case patient should talk with the surgeon as soon as possible. Sometimes you can not see the signs of infection in the incision site but you may have each of these symptoms:

  • Swelling.
  • Fluid that builds up in or near the breast.
  • Redness.
  • Pain that gets worse following the operation.

What should you ask for experiencing better recovery period?

You can ask your doctor to advise you all instructions about preparing best recovery process at home, like:

  1. How to care for the incision sites, special points like the duration of dressings change.
  2. How much and how often you can consume pain medication.
  3. How to do some exercises like shoulder movements
  4. when to start slow exercises in order to lessen any stiffness you may experience.
  5. When is emergent to call the surgeon, including the most concerning symptoms you should be careful.
  6. When you can wear a bra, take a shower or get back to routine activities.

Where is the right destination for lumpectomy?

If you have this question, you must know that Iran is one of the best destinations for all types of surgeries. Iranian surgeons have provided the most novel methods and some surgeries that are not very common are done here. A lot of research has done on breast cancer and you can utilize the most effective methods with affordable prices. In comparison with other countries specially European ones, with a very lower cost you can have lumpectomy. Averagely lumpectomy is done with 2000$ in Iran. In Mediranco we provide the best offers for our beloved patients. You can also use our free services like free online consultation. Then it is much more easier for you to make decisions about it. Mediranco’s experts will explain all possible treatment options for you and if it is necessary arrange a time for you as the consultation session with our professional surgeons. Mediranco’s mission is to provide unbelievable treatment options for medical tourists who wish to be treated abroad, assistance in finding health care options in Iran. Mediranco’s team will arrange all a patient may need like having suitable treatment options, planned trips, safe transfer, quality health care services, and an overall pleasant experience at affordable prices until a safe journey back home.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Mostly lumpectomy is performed for Stage II of breast’s cancers. Higher stages may need total mastectomy.

  • Averagely recovery process following the surgery can last from a few days to a week. Following the operation without a lymph node biopsy, patients may feel well enough to return to work after two or three days. You can return to have routine physical activities, like going to the gym, after one week.

  • As most surgeons prefer performing the lumpectomy with general anesthesia, patients may not feel any pain or discomfort. During the surgery, medications may be injected to decrease the pain following the operation.

    • Bleeding.
    • Infection.
    • Pain.
    • Temporary swelling.
    • Tenderness.
    • Formation of hard scar tissue


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